Chateau Lynch Bages & other recent tastes

Château Lynch Bages Pauillac 2006
This château dates back to 1691. Even though it was classified as a fifth growth, it is considered a “super second’ and sells at a higher price. Jean Michel Cazes is considered an icon in the wine business for improving the quality of this property and wine everywhere else as well. I had met him in Seattle in 1993. Even though he had stepped down as president, in September 2009, I asked if he was in the winery. He was in and graciously came downstairs and chatted with us for a few minutes. His son George Charles now runs the operation. The wine is made from about 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The wine is always fragrant and is well balanced with excellent fruit and a lingering finish. Oak barrels are utilized but the wine is always harmoniously integrated. With decanting, this can be consumed early but the château has a proven track record for long cellaring. Recommended retail price is around $97.00.

Chateau Lynch Bages Bordeaux Blanc 2006
Even though the white grapes are grown on the property in Pauillac, this must be labeled as Bordeaux Blanc. The blend is 40% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Semillon and 20% Muscadelle. The last grape produces fragrant very dry wine and should not be confused with Muscat or Muscadet. The wine is made utilizing new oak and the wine is absolutely stunning. The entry features excellent dry fruit and has plenty of body with a long finish. This should retail for around $61.00

Domaine La Roquète Châteauneuf du Pape 2005 Rouge
It should be emphasized that 2005 is one of the best vintages in the Rhône Valley. This property is part of the Brunier group that includes the famed Vieux Télegraphe. The blend is 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre. Traditional methods are used in the farming, vinification and ageing process. There may be a touch of oak but the wine has an excellent aroma, and plenty of fruit and spice notes in the entry, substantial middle and a long lingering finish. This should age quite nicely but is showing well early. Retail price should be around $36.60.

Las Rocas de San Alejandro Garnacha 2007
This represents one of the best bargains in Spanish wine. The winery in Calatayud always produces wine with plenty of fruit and spice notes in the aroma, middle and finish. This would be a good accompaniment to most cuisines including Indian and Mexican. It, of course, can be consumed by itself or with basic American food. Retail should be $13.00.

Cave de Haut Poitou Le Bois de la Tour 2008 Sauvignon
One could not ask for a better bargain for a dry white wine with complexity and crisp citrus notes. Served blind, it would be hard to distinguish this from more expensive Loire Valley offerings. The price would be an astoundingly inexpensive $9.70.